Brent Remains Above $109 on Positive PMI
Brent crude oil continued to trade above $109 on Monday, holding on to Friday's gains. The commodity traded at $109.28 at 7:30 GMT on Monday morning.
The commodity was under pressure last week as supply tightness eased due to the reopening of some of Libya's oil export terminals. The African nation's production climbed to 620,000 barrels per day as of Wednesday. Despite the oilfield restarts, Libyan oil production is still operating at less than 50 percent of its normal capacity. Labor protests cut the country's oil output to less than 200,000 and caused it to default on contractual obligations earlier in the month.
Brent prices also eased when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made statements indicating he was willing to work together with Western diplomats to resolve the conflict over Tehran's nuclear capabilities. The nation's nuclear development plans have long supported oil prices as the West slapped the nation with heavy sanctions in order to cut funding to the program. Rouhani's statements are seen by most as a turning point in the historically troubled relationship between Iran and the US.
Prices were helped by positive Chinese data on Monday which helped alleviate concern that the number two oil consuming nation was headed for an economic downturn. CNBC reported that China's flash HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index increased to 51.2 in September. The figure is the highest the nation has seen since March and falls well above the 50 point mark that indicates growth. More PMI data due out later in the day on Monday from the US and the eurozone could also affect on Brent prices.
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